Lee Wright, a construction and maintenance foreman at Via East Midlands, has worked for Nottinghamshire County Council for 12 years, working his way up from a labourer to the role he holds today, which he describes as something he is very passionate about.
Last year, the county council undertook a review of highways maintenance and repairs, and Lee was instrumental in providing suggestions for improvements from the front line of road repairs to the review panel.
Now, almost one year on from the panel’s first meeting, recommendations have led to improvements including quadrupling the amount of patching being done across the county each day, and a 104 per cent increase in performance of the patching teams.
This means that the eight permanent patching teams are repairing the equivalent of almost 20 continuous miles of road each year.
These improvements have come as part of the council’s £15 million additional funding in roads and the environment over the next four years.
This funding has seen four new patching teams become operational in April of this year, investments in equipment and training and the establishment of the now operational Highways Hub at the Bilsthorpe Depot to better coordinate activities, which all combine to increase productivity.
Lee said: “It was great to be so involved in the Highways Review Panel as striving to give the best quality is something I am very passionate about
“The council’s approval of the four new patching teams has really helped us to improve our output and work more efficiently across the county.
"The investment in new equipment means that my team alone can deliver repairs involving around 800 more tonnes of material annually than before.
“We are still looking at ways to keep improving to strive every day to try and take the next step in providing the best possible service we can.
“Overall, I feel proud to help maintain the highways that people from Nottinghamshire and beyond use on a daily basis.
"I am always telling family members ‘I did that’ when we drive past some repairs that I’ve worked on, and I think that this feeling is what drives me forward to keep things improving.”
Coun Neil Clarke (Con), cabinet member for transport and environment at the council, added: “We have spoken a lot over the last 12 months about the review panel and what it hopes to achieve, and seeing these figures shows we’re well on our way to making the panel’s recommendations a reality.
“Of course, we all know that large scale changes can’t be delivered overnight, but it’s encouraging to see that even in a relatively short amount of time since the four new teams started, we are already doing double the amount of patching compared to one year ago.
“The addition of the four new repairs teams across Nottinghamshire now means that we have eight permanent repair teams in total across the county.
“We know that when it comes to road repairs, people want to see real action, and it is great to hear from Lee about the attitude of the teams and their desire to provide the highest possible quality.”